U.S. Policy and Regulations

Illustration depicting a computer screen capture with a rules and regulations concept.

This area provides information on the subject areas of critical issues facing the U.S. spice industry.

From the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act to import specific issues, pesticide residues and labeling, this section provides critical information to help you get up to speed on items affecting your day-to-day business operations.

Noxious Weed Seeds
Federal law prohibits the importation, intentional or unintentional, of noxious weeds and their seeds into the U.S. The Federal Noxious Weed Policy, as implemented and managed by APHIS, has the goal of preventing the introduction and spread of noxious weeds in the U.S. ASTA’s final report on noxious weed seeds provides resources for members and describes additional methods to “devitalize” noxious weed seeds

Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
FSMA is the most sweeping reform of food safety law in the past 80 years and is changing the paradigm of food safety from reaction-based to preventative measures required by industry.  In this section you will find the latest information to assist you in complying with these new regulations that are currently under development.

FDA Resource for Specific FSMA Questions
FDA has developed the Technical Assistance Network (TAN) to answer industry questions on FSMA implementation.  Submit your question on-line and provide as much detail as possible to allow FDA to evaluate the specific situation and provide answers to your FSMA questions.  FDA subject matter experts will answer questions as soon as possible although they caution response times may vary due to the complexity of the question and the volume of inquiries. Industry questions will be used to assist FDA in developing guidance and training programs as well as Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to be posted on FDA’s website.

Reportable Food Registry
The Reportable Food Registry (RFR or the Registry) is an FDA electronic portal for industry to submit reports when there is reasonable probability that an article of food will cause serious adverse health consequences.  The goal is to help FDA better protect public health by tracking patterns and targeting inspections.  The RFR applies to all FDA-regulated categories of food and feed, except dietary supplements and infant formula. More information and links to this information can be found in this section.

Imports/Sanctions/Transport Restrictions
Finding requirements on importing food and specifically spices into the U.S. can be a daunting task. In this section you will find information on a number of key regulations, including verifying foreign suppliers as required under FSMA, information on 10+2 import rules and the Bioterrorism Act. Links are included to point you to the latest information on trade sanctions with foreign governments and the latest information on transport restrictions that may be in place once your product reaches the United States.

Pesticide Residues
EPA sets pesticide tolerances for food and FDA enforces these established tolerances. ASTA provides links to resources that will assist you in finding information related to pesticide residues and pesticide import tolerances for all pesticides allowed and for what amounts are tolerated on spices imported into the U.S.

FDA regulates the labeling of food – both bulk labeling and consumer product labeling.  Information can be found relating to allergen, gluten and other “free from claims”, information on “natural” and GMO labeling.